Sunday, August 14, 2011

A world away

Aug 2011 034

One of my favourite things in the summer is to go outside in my pyjamas first thing in the morning and pick sweet peas. Today I brought them back to bed with my breakfast and caught up on yesterday’s papers. My back garden is a world away from cities and from riots, but that doesn’t mean I am not upset by this week’s news. It’s not just the riots, the looting, the murders, the arson, the loss of peoples’ homes and livelihoods, but also the posturing of politicians and the commentary in the media.

I’m particularly upset by the focus on policing rather than on the underlying reasons for what has happened. And I’m upset by the fact that when people try to understand the riots and why they happened and then list the multi-faceted strands such as alienation, poor parenting, the loss of hope amongst large sections of young people, and not forgetting simple criminality from gangs, the people trying to understand are accused of condoning the violence and looting. The causes of the riots are many and varied. Let’s not accept the empty statement of “sheer criminality.” Yes, the behaviour was criminal, but why did people want to behave in that way?

And what can we do to change our society to prevent it from happening again?

One charity working to help young people in difficult situations and young people without hope is Catch 22. Check it out.


Anonymous said...

I never thought I would ever quote Russell Brand, but here is an excerpt from a piece he had in the Guardian this week -
Gandhi said: "Be the change you want to see in the world."
In this simple sentiment we can find hope, as we can in the efforts of those cleaning up the debris and ash in bonhomous, broom-wielding posses. If we want to live in a society where people feel included, we must include them, where they feel represented, we must represent them and where they feel love and compassion for their communities then we, the members of that community, must find love and compassion for them.

Jean said...

Lots of debate going on about 'respect', it does seem to be the pivotal point across the board. Such a simple word but one with such a complex and deep effect on life.

galant said...

I think a lot has been said about the riots so for once I won't add to the comments. However, that toast with jam looks wonderful (and by commenting on breakfast it doesn't mean I haven't felt revulsion for the riots and how innocent lives have been lost.)
Margaret P